There’s been a lot of talk around the web about different possible features and wish-lists for the coming release of Football Manager 2014 but I don’t know about you, I can’t be fuddled to trawl Google looking for them all just to see the same thing repeated on loads of sites. So I’ve done something about it.
I’ve done all the hard-word for you and created this ultimate guide to all the good ideas floating around the internet at the moment, there’s a few of my own but loads of others from all over the FM ‘asphere.
If you’re an FM virgin a lot of this might go over your head, if it does you should get FM 2013, it’s going ridiculously cheap at the moment, been as low as 6 quid. Thats about a penny for every hour of enjoyment you can get out of it before the next game is released.
You won’t be finding broad statements in this article either so don’t expect the obvious, ‘improve AI’ which for me is obvious, I have played 22 games with my recent Chelsea game and given away 22 penalties! Bitch please, that much is a-given.
Enough of the small-talk, let’s get started. I’ve put these in order of ‘genius’, a self-appointed model for how successful and creative I think each of these ideas would be if implemented.
First up is one of my own (you never would have guessed it), I wrote an article about it recently titled ‘The Most Wacky Football Manager 14 Feature Idea Ever’, that Idea is to completely scrap player stats, you know those 1-20 numbers that start the game in shades of blue, ditch ‘em.
I realise this is slightly left-field but hear me out.
Every year the game itself is targeting and evolving in the same direction, that direction is of course reality, to try to realise the daily routines of a real-world manager into the game. Tell me this, do real managers have a spreadsheet with player’s ability marked in number from 1-20? Do real-world managers choose transfer targets based on them having a ’20′ for finishing?
No, they use form, ability, consistency and ability to ‘gel’ in there team based on personal and mental traits. After a player has signed or you have been managing a team for a few weeks, does anyone really use the players actual stats for anything anyway? Other than to see if a youngster is improving? They’re not needed in my book.
Give us that SI and you will create the best-selling and most historic management game ever.
Scouts that actually work please
Have you ever earned up to £10,000 a week and turned up to work, pretended to do your job, made a few crappy recommendations that are never up to scratch and kept your job for years? Me neither, but welcome to the world of FM Scouts.
I am yet to find a scout that I can trust, as I mentioned here, but this article is about being constructive so lets to just that.
Scouts have to be improved in Football Manager 2014, they need to be able to do their job effectively and be trustworthy.
Surely this isn’t a big thing to ask for, don’t scouts just tell us what is on the player in questions’ file on the database? How can they get it so wrong?
I’ve had one scout tell me Will Hughes has the potential to be 2.5 stars and the next that he has the potential to be 5, thats the difference between him being a no-go and an English hero. Sort it out SI.
I don’t want to bloody play 4-2-3-1 every-game
For me, my love of any given FM save is all based on the formation and all too often I end up with a tight or wide 4-2-3-1 because I love midfielders but why am I constrained? I don’t want to play that but its the closest I can get to the formation I want to play.
I, like many football fans on this planet love the way Barca play and want to replicate that with my own ‘twist’ but I can’t.
How many people out there have owned Eden Hazard, Wayne Rooney or Mario Gotze, the players that you really want to put just behind the striker, not in midfield, but in a ‘Free Role’ to create. Trequarista does not cut the mustard.
Like many of my FM chums I have also grown increasingly frustrated about the absolute necessity to play 4 at the back, if you don’t you will get relegated, fact.
Customisable formations are the way forward, allow the user to ‘drag and drop’ players to exactly the spot where they want them on the pitch, problem solved and many FM addicts now have a new-found love with unlimited options.
I want that one!
I’ve had a few differing opinions on this idea and read several others mention it but in my opinion the ability to re-invest in the game would be awesome.
For me my wage in the game is meaningless, I negotiate the smallest contract possible with my club because it comes out of my own budgets. “You what? You mean the more I earn the less I can afford to pay Messi?” Yup.
The other aspect to this is longevity, in my opinion the game loses its magic as soon as you have more ‘regens’ in your team than real players, that’s the point when I usually start afresh. Adding the ability to invest in a club of your choice would give you extra motivation to carry on, drop down the leagues and get the might Cobblers to the prem!
“Numpties say what?”
Team talks, team meetings and post-match convo’s with your players are boring, monotonous and at best, crude. Though I do see the point, every player on this planet has 2-3 talks they say, every game, start, middle and end. For me it’s just another click that I have to do in order to get to the game.
The pre-game and in-game talks don’t work, its doesn’t matter if you’re 3-0 up to Local Crappy Club FC and say something that makes all your players ‘happy and motivated’ they still play like numpties in the second half and are at risk of conceding 4.
It doesn’t matter what you say when you’re 5-0 up at halftime, your team will 99% of the time either not score or only get 1 more in the second half.
The ONLY way to get a full-positive reaction out of your team during a team meeting is to say one thing, ask the room, then leave. As soon as you say you agree or that you was expecting a different reaction, reds, negatives and your confusion is imminent.
It’s all too confusing, all too monotonous and all too ‘samey’. Team talks should be like player interaction but with the ability to understand the players’ or teams’ mood, motivation and willingness to agree.
You should also have the chance to talk back if the reaction is bad, I can’t imagine Arsene Wenger being like “Zou Guyz Vere Terryble” and watching his teams focus, motivation and happiness fall through the floor, then to just send ‘em back out. He would follow a slaughtering with a motivational plea.
What is training for?
Do you know why your assistant is telling you that Aaron Ramsey should be put on an individual training program to increase his speed rather than his passing? Do you know the benefit of it after 6 months? Do you know what difference telling Santi Cazorla to tutor Jack Wilshere did? Nope, me neither.
I want to know the difference my training is having, I want to know why I should pay £450,000 to get an awesome coach that is 4.5 stars rather than the dude i already have earning pittance on 4 stars.
This is probably too much depth for some but for me the story needs to be told.
When a recommendation is made that ‘xyz’ should be tutoring ‘abc’ I want to know what benefit it will have, when its done I want to know if little ‘abc’ has improved his dribbling and has become a more consistent player or if ‘xyz’ thinks he hasn’t got the potential to play for the club long-term.
Though this runs deeper than that I don’t want to be too complicated, the easiest way to sum this up is depth-of-story. There is huge amounts of ‘fluff’ with training and match-prep but no real targets to be had or reasoning behind certain choices other than a little bar that gets better the more friendlies you play.
Oh and while I’m on the subject, why the fudge does that little bar go down to like 25% just because my players have had a month off? Do they not recognise it’s the same tema as last year? An article for another day.
Cross the i’s and dot the t’s
I have to give credit to mypassionforfootballmanager.com for this one, it’s a great idea and one that needs ‘aring’ as well as deserving a prime spot on this wish-list.
Manager contracts, let’s have some more depth to them, let’s make them more real, lets give us the power like the real guys have.
Adding the ability to negotiate manager contracts with ‘bargaining chips’ deserves to be on the game, by this I mean saying to your would-be chairman that you will accept the contract offer if the club agrees to sign little Johnny Blogs or your favourite player from your current team.
You could also make board requests at this stage, requesting that the club upgrade its training, youth facilities or stadium to suit what you have in mind.
Taking what the guys said a little bit further, you could even be able to say “you know what Mr Abrohimazimmaaborvicharich I reckon I need £65m to win the league next year, fancy a pop?”. Now that would be a cracking feature.
Do what Matthew Budd says
Whilst having a quick chat with Matt over on this article he came up with a couple of cracking features that deserve a place on here and in the game.
Firstly Matt suggested improving the ability to ‘mould’ youngsters in to the player you want them to be. Now, this could take many forms but it’s definitely worth looking in to. Henry played on the wing as a kid, but Wenger knew he was going to be a CF, I bet his training regimes followed that process, I bet his training involved a personal approach that befitted the future role Arsene had in mind.
Maybe you could train players personally, using those stats that you build up with experience, maybe you could take him under your wing and nurture them in to your next star.
For me training youngsters is a large part of my happiness in any given game, after the first season I fill the under-18′s and reserve teams with youngsters, often signing 30-40 players on a few hundred quid a week to train and ‘groom’ their progression. 1 in 5 makes it, tops but that player is well worth it as like I said above, you can’t trust your scouts to pick you the best around, do it yourself.
Another point that Matt picked up on was the ability to select and ‘earn’ sponsorship deals, I like this a lot. I’m sure an old LMA Manager game gave you this detail and is was the highlight of that game. After-all, do you know how much money you earned in extra shirt-sales you got from signing a ‘big name player’?
The only problem with this is I am unsure what impact a real-world manager has on this process, but he is definitely a contributor to earning bigger or smaller deals each year and could be given some form of decision in the process.
Long or short Sir?
Another idea that has come form the MyPassionForFootballManager.com site is the addition of a groundskeeper. A vital person in the way the team performs, plays and the tactics selected, an un-sung hero of the game.
Arsenal and Barca couldn’t play the way they did if the pitch was not slick and watered before the game with the grass cut to the exact millimetre it aids quick one-touch passing and is a vital differentiator.
You could even, as a lower stature team, keep your grass long and dry for when Arsenal come to play, give you an advantage!
Proper opinions not reports
When looking at signing a new player, we know not to trust our scouts 100% but what I would definitely trust much more than a star rating is an opinion of his mental and performance at the time.
Something like: “This dude is playing out his skin at the moment but it probably won’t last” or “He is really growing and flourishing in a team that plays quick, possession football” or even “Luis is a great skilful player but has the temperament of a 5 year-old and is likely to clash with xyz player”.
That sort of stuff would be gold-dust.
How much for this 10-year-old?
I love youngsters, I realise that isn’t a statement I should be making with the current climate but on FM young players are where it is at for me but I want to be able to create youth teams, under 15′s, under 12′s or even under 10′s, that would be awesome.
Imagine scouting the grass-roots games on saturday and sunday amongst the school teams and picking up some kids that would go all the way to the top.
This would not only add an awesome extra level to the game but would take away that annoying point in time when regens take over your team, if you have bought them through from a 10-year-old, they will like your own kids!
Let me see those red-tops
A snapshot of a red-top tabloid with all the latest news could be a good way to sum up the days stories or to speculate on transfers. Rather than tell me I have a leak and my potential transfer has got out, show it on a newspaper snap-shot.
Legends games in classic mode
This idea came from reading a post by the guys over at footballmanagerblog.org but I think its worth its weight.
I would love to have a dabble playing as a legendary team of old, loading up all the old-school teams that we know and love. The Arsenal invincible’s would be a particular highlight of mine but maybe even the 1966 World Cup Squad or the Treble winning Utd team.
One of our readers Mark Clawson agrees:
I would like to see fm bring out the older games, like the 1970`s 1980`s era, something like: FM1971, FM1972, FM1973 etc, etc, etc till you reach the date the first FM started with, call it the golden years.
This has to be worth an addition to the classic section.
Send me back home boss
One feature that I’m sure will come in the 2014 edition of the game is the ability to loan back players that you have just signed to the club you bought him from, the inspiration for this came from footballmanagerblog.org and others.
A prominent feature in todays transfer saga’s is the ability to loan back a player, Wilfred Zaha for example. This has been going on for a while now and I think it’s a great thing to have in the game.
I often buy players at the start of a season but select to move clubs at the end of the year, I reckon adding an extra year on as loan would be a good thing too for some youngsters.
A final note…
Now I realise that most of these are pretty wacky but I feel, as an avid FM fans since its first release, there is a massive need for change. Though the game is brilliant and at the top of its game so far, it could be a lot better and I reckon the ideas above are the best of the ideas I have found online.
What do you think? Have you got any to add or seen another idea online that you like? Give us a heads-up in the comments below and we will add it in if we like it!